05/06/2017 1:16PM

Paulassilverlining by a neck in Humana Distaff

Barbara D. Livingston
Paulassilverlining (right), with Jose Ortiz aboard, beats Finest City and jockey Mike Smith in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Paulassilverlining needed 19 starts to finally become a Grade 1 winner by capturing Keeneland’s Madison in her 2017 debut. It took her only four more weeks to do it again, as she parlayed a perfect trip under Jose Ortiz into a game neck decision over 3-2 favorite Finest City in Saturday’s $300,000 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs.  

Paulassilverlining is now perfect in two starts since being purchased by Juddmonte Farms and transferred to trainer Chad Brown’s barn this year. She stalked the early pace set by longshot Super Humor while kept well off the rail in the seven-furlong Humana Distaff, seized command readily on the final turn, edged clear in early stretch, then held off Finest City to the wire.

Finest City, who defeated Paulassilverlining by two lengths when capturing the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita last November, raced within easy striking distance of the winner while also kept wide throughout, continued resolutely down the stretch, but was not quite good enough.

Carina Mia also raced well out in the track, rallying mildly to finish another three-parts of a length back in third. Sweetgrass, Lightstream, Mines and Magic, and Super Humor rounded out the order of finish.

Paulassilverlining, a daughter of Ghostzapper who has a date in the breeding shed next season with Arrogate, paid $7.60 after completing the distance over a sloppy track in 1:23.68.

“She ran outstanding,” Brown said. “She had that forward move off the layoff we were looking for. Obviously, she had no trouble with the track. Jose gave her a perfect trip, got her off the rail early, put her in a good position, and got the jump on everybody.”   

Brown said he has nothing definite in mind for Paulassilverlining’s next start.

Mike Smith, who was 2 for 2 aboard Finest City, including their victory in the Breeders’ Cup, coming into the Humana Distaff, praised his mare in defeat.

“She ran great,” said Smith. “It took a good mare to beat her, one who probably took to this racetrack a little better than mine did. [Finest City] kept hitting some spots that bothered her a little bit, but all in all, she ran really well.”